Thursday 1 November 2018

Tucked Away Treehouse

Today is the day for the next reveal in the Endeavourers Quilt group, this quarter the theme was Improv. I must confess that my heart sank when I read the post announcing the theme. I have made Improv blocks in the past for Bee mates but I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed the process.

As usual I dithered over how to approach this challenge for (too many!) weeks and finally decided that I would take a slightly different approach to the theme from the Improv blocks that I had attempted before. Rather than stitching up wonky blocks for a wonky quilt I decided that I would try a new technique and then switch it up and see where it went.

Here is what I ended up with - I am calling it Tucked Away.

The piece, which is comprised of three 6" Chenille blocks, was inspired by this tree seen on a recent woodland walk.

Each block consists of 6 x 6.5" squares of fabric layered on top of each other and then stitched together with random lines of stitching.

 In the first block that I made, which I blogged about here, I stitched the wavy lines a bit too close together as the Chenille cutter wouldn't fit through so I had to resort to scissors in places.

So on the next attempt I left a larger gap between the stitched lines and had no trouble fitting the Chenille cutter in between them. I also switched up the order that the fabrics were used in between the blocks.

For the third block I opted to give the circular Chenille blade a go and so drew out a rough spiral to stitch around. I ended up ignoring the drawn outline though, as I had the block in the machine the wrong way round for the drawing so just had to wing it!

The blade guard on the circular cutter is much shorter than the regular cutter so it went round between the spiral lines without any problems.

Once the blocks were washed they looked like this.

In regular patchwork loose and frayed ends are not a good thing but in this type of quilting they are a positive bonus, it is quite a freeing mindset!

Now for the fun part, embellishing the blocks

with beads, you can just see them peeping out between the frayed edges in the bottom right and middle top,

with stuffed silk Suffolk puffs

and with a padded felt door and machine wrapped creeper cords!

Here is my Tucked Away Treehouse in its' natural setting :)

I am not 100% sure that this hanging fits the Improv theme but I really enjoyed making it and there was a fair bit of improvisation involved in creating the end result so, hopefully, it will pass muster!

Head on over to the Endeavourers blog to read more about the improvised aspects of this piece and find out how my fellow Endeavourers have risen to the Improv challenge.


  1. This is an incredible piece. The finished effect is wonderful and I was amazed to see that you actually used print fabrics to get all the toning and shading. I think you've invented improv chenille making :)

  2. I'm pretty sure I never hit the theme, but I am stitching and trying new things with fabric. All my life I have created clothes and crafty things so this group is helping me to think in different ways. In it's heyday in the stitching world, I created a lot of chenille pieces but never in an art piece. I can only hope that my mind can some day think as creatively as yours. I absolutely love everything about this piece.
    xx, Carol

  3. This is fascinating! They turned out great, and are really inspiring for art quilts.

  4. Great job, the chenille is perfect for your quilt

    1. Thanks B I was really thrilled with how this turned out!

  5. If that's not improv I don't know what is! It's brilliant, the design itself, of course, but especially the "winging it"!

  6. Wow, so cool! It truly looks like ancient wood bark and a little elfin home! Great job :)

  7. Hi Fiona! I wrote a comment on your blog here yesterday, but Safari wouldn't let me post any comments besides on The Endeavourers. I just want to reiterate how incredibly cool your quilt is. A little fairy door on a tree...reminds me of the entrance to Narnia in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe! :) m & jb-the-cat aka Josephina Ballerina

  8. It may not fit the theme, but it's awesome. Well done. Very creative.

  9. This is fantastic work - I love all that texture! Are you inspired to do chenile again?!

  10. Fiona, I am sorry to be late commenting! I thought I had commented, but i was late posting myself and guess I lost track of who I had visited.
    Your work is amazing! I love the mushrooms and door especially! You improvised perfectly!
    A wonderful improv tree piece!
    Barbara xx

  11. Love those stuffed, silk Suffolk puffs - I want to squeeze them!


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